[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 20 July Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Jul 20 12:18:45 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 20 July Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



No CBCP plot to oust government, Palace says (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

SOME Catholic bishops may be aiding the mutinous military troops, but Malacañang yesterday ruled out a Church conspiracy to oust President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. 

"Just because we know that one or two leaders of the Church are involved [in the oust-Arroyo campaign] does not mean the whole Church is involved," Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said. 

Ermita made his statements on learning Bishop Antonio Tobias of Novaliches gave sanctuary to fugitive Magdalo soldiers who escaped detention in January. 

He said government lawyers were studying whether Tobias had committed a crime by hiding people wanted for having been involved in past coup attempts. 

'Opposition won't abandon impeachment' (www.philstar.com)
Opposition congressmen are not about to give up their campaign to impeach President Arroyo despite appeals from administration allies for them to abandon what the latter describe as a "futile" effort. 

"We are not abandoning the impeachment bid. We will pursue it because it is the right thing to do," Minority Leader Francis Escudero told reporters yesterday. 

He said aside from resignation, the impeachment process is the only constitutional means of "making the President accountable for the lying, cheating and stealing charges that we have leveled against her and for eventually replacing her." 

"And since she has obstinately refused to resign, impeachment is the only viable constitutional option," Escudero said. 

Asked about the claim of Mrs. Arroyo's House allies that the impeachment bid would just be a futile and counter-productive effort as the opposition does not have the numbers to impeach the President, Escudero said an imminent defeat would not deter them from "seeking the truth through this constitutional process." 

He said those calling on the opposition to give up its impeachment initiative in the face of sure defeat "could be suggesting another option that is not constitutional."


 Binay blasts Cha-cha group for 'signature-buying' drive (The Manila Times)

Mayor Jejomar Binay of Makati City on Wednesday accused Charter-change advocates of "signature-buying" to get the required three percent in his jurisdiction for the people's initiative. 

Binay, also the United Opposition president, said he received information that Cha-cha groups, headed by Roberto Brillante, a former Makati vice-mayor, would allegedly spend over P10 million for the signature drive. 

He disclosed that the plan was hatched in a meeting on July 15 at the Jade Restaurant in Quezon City, which several Makati residents attended. 

Binay said the group plans to tap eight kagawad (councilman) in each Makati barangay. Each kagawad will recruit 20 more to act as coordinators for the signature drive.

The kagawad will be paid P3,000 each, the coordinators, P1,000 and those who sign the Cha-cha campaign P500 each, Binay said. 

"Who is the source of the money? And why is such huge amount being spent if their first signature campaign was a success, as claimed by Sigaw ng Bayan and the Advocacy Commission?" Binay asked. 

Filipinos set to leave Lebanon (abs-cbnNEWS.com) 

The Department of Foreign Affairs said that 225 Filipino workers are scheduled to leave Beirut on Thursday morning for the first leg of their journey to safety from war-torn Lebanon, ANC reported.

DFA spokesman Gilbert Asuque said officials of the Philippine embassy in Beirut have hired buses to transport the Filipinos to Damascus, Syria. >From Damascus, a chartered flight awaits them for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

He said about three buses will be used for the evacuation.

The DFA spokesman confirmed that the first batch of evacuees will come from the Our Lady of the Miraculous Medallion church under the care of Father Agustin Advincula, a Filipino.

Meanwhile, retired general Roy Cimatu has yet to inform DFA officials in Manila of his whereabouts. Cimatu, DFA's special ambassador to the Middle East, heads the government committee formed to oversee the safe evacuation of Filipinos in Lebanon.

As of last report, no confirmation has been made regarding Cimatu's arrival in Damascus.

4,000 ordered to leave areas around Mayon (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

OFFICIALS have ordered the evacuation of more than 4,000 residents living near Mayon Volcano after it showed signs of an impending eruption. 

"It would be best if the 4,343 farmers were evacuated soon," Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz Jr. told a briefing in Camp Aguinaldo late Tuesday attended by disaster officials. 

The Office of Civil Defense said the farmers continued to till their land and did not appear worried even if they were within the 6-km permanent-danger zone. 

"They are still there tilling their land and harvesting. It's a question of livelihood," said Glen Rabonza, the agency's administrator. 

"This is our worry," regional disaster relief chief Arnel Capili said. 

"They are tending to their livestock, but when Mayon Volcano explodes, the cows are likely to end up roasted." 

Cruz said the farmers must be evacuated for their own good. 

Britain will no longer hire foreign nurses (Inquirer)

LONDON -- Starting next month, the British Home Office will no longer allow the recruitment of foreign nurses as it prepares to remove the nursing and several other health professions from the country's skills shortage list.

The decision was in line with London's wish to accommodate the growing number of "homegrown" nurses, many of whom are still unemployed.

There are roughly 30,000 Filipino nurses in the United Kingdom at present.

According to the Home Office rule, which specifically applies to foreign nurses who have less than 18 months experience (Bands 5 and 6), a work permit will be granted only "if a job cannot be filled by British or EU [European Union] applicants."

UK Immigration, a private consultancy firm, said the government move, announced on July 4, did not come as a surprise since "this year there has been a dramatic decrease in the jobs available to British, Commonwealth and European Union citizens who are graduating from the UK universities."

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